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Grace & Frankie E4: "The Funeral"

Put on your finest black Willie Nelson T-shirt, cause we're going to a funeral!

abstew here continuing our coverage of Jane & Lily Grace and Frankie. After being separated from their recently gay (well, to our leading ladies at least) and recently shacked-up husbands, the gals must come face-to-face with their estranged spouses for the first time since the first episode. And because they're of a certain age, the gathering naturally happens at a funeral (it's like clubbing for retirees). And nothing says comedy quite like a funeral setting (unless it stars Hugh Grant and is preceded by 4 weddings) and this episode proves it by carrying some pretty heavy dramatic moments and a breakdown from Martin Sheen that shouldn't have made me laugh as much as it did (since he was actually going for heartfelt drama).

The episode begins with Grace interrupting Frankie's art class with ex-cons so that the two can get to the funeral of their mutual friend Larry before Sol and Robert arrive for their "coming out party".

The ladies spend most of the episode avoiding the men until the end when Robert realizes how much he misses Grace and the way she lights up a room, knowing just how to behave. The two spouses confront each other and Grace blurts out how she's "stuck" with Frankie, just as she walks by to hear it. It's an especially harsh statement as it seems like the odd couple are finally bonding and appreciating each other. Luckily the two women leave together and hopefully the strides they've made in understanding each other haven't been damaged.     

Best Jane Moment:

Dressed in an "ass-hugging" LBD to remind everyone that she's still got it (or in her words to make them think, "What a waste.") Grace is finding that her feet are suffering for her beauty.  

Frankie: Why don't you take those damned high heels off?

Grace: Because they're part of this...

Best Lily Moment:

For some reason I thought it was hilarious when Tomlin delivered her line of exasperation "Sweet muscular Jesus" when Sol and Robert make their way ahead of her to pay their respects to Larry's widow Sally. 

Best Lily and Jane Moment together:

Frankie: I've waited in line for over an hour, now that we're at the front, you're not even here.

Grace: I needed some time alone. It was a lot to process.

Frankie: I can see you out the window drinking a martini with Lydia.

Grace: Are you spying on me?

Frankie: Yes, Miss Marple, I've been tailing you all day from inside a plant...I can see you making that blah, blah gesture!

Yes! This is what we want more of: Funny banter between Lily and Jane! They play so well off each other and they're not even in the same room. 

Guest Star Alert:

It's Emmy, Oscar, and Golden Globe award-winning actress and filmmaker Christine Lahti as Robert's sister Lydia.

I never saw her on Chicago Hope. (I tend to avoid shows about doctors, cops, and lawyers. Which is basically every drama on television. There's gotta be other professions!) But when I think of Christine Lahti, I always remember when she was in the bathroom when she won her Best Actress Golden Globe for the show and nearly missed giving her speech. And then the next year when she presented, she had toilet paper stuck to her shoe. Nothing like a year-later callback. That Lahti plays the long game with comedy.

Double-Headed Phallic Vase Shot

Anne Marie is right - they're everywhere!

Rating: C Is anyone else as disappointed in this show as I am? And this episode in particular just could not balance the sitcomy one-liners with its sappy revelations about relationships and partners. It was like a very special episode of Full House. In trying to make us laugh and cry all at once, I'm not sure what to feel exactly. And for some reason this show keeps insisting that we care about Sol and Robert, but it comes at the expense of our Jane and Lily time. And this episode gave way too much screentime to Sheen and Waterston (who I just don't buy as a couple). All I know is I want this series to actually be about, you know, Grace and Frankie and stop giving such equal footing to Sol and Robert - I'm never gonna care!   

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    Funerary craftsmanship is workmanship delivered regarding internments, including numerous sorts of tombs, and protests uniquely made for entombment with a body.
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    Response: funeral marketing

Reader Comments (4)

So nice to see Lahti on screen again (didn't watch Chicago Hope either) who looks super fantastic. I agree with Abstew on this particular episode, and having made my way through the rest, this show gets better and worth watching! Also, the later scenes with June Diane Raphael and her "brothers" are terrific. Compared to the relationship between the similarly aged partners in Love is Strange, the interactions between Sol and Robert are just off--not sure if it's the actors, the writing, the plot line that this relationship needed to remain hidden for so long, or what, but I just don't buy any of it. That said, yes, it's flawed and sitcom-y, but still so charming--Lily and Jane are wonderful together, and even if it's not perfect, it's totally worth the 18 minutes of time each episode you get to spend with them. Even my teen daughter said "I don't know why I'm watching this 'old people' show, but I kinda like it."

May 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Probably not a great sign of the show's quality, but I'm actually preferring the interactions amongst the children rather than the adults. When the children really get the chance to engage in scenes with one another, it reminds me of the harmonious miscommunications of the kids on Transparent. I just feel like the show isn't *trying* very hard with Grace and Frankie's relationship, and it's a damn shame.

May 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Thank you for these recaps, Film Experience Team. I was really looking forward to it and I'm afraid I'm a bit disappointed. Jane Fonda is excellent though. Can't stand the husbands, so annoying. Really hope this will get a second season even though it's very uneven now.

May 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMarek

Despite the premise of the show, it seems very old-fashioned to me, like something that would have aired on NBC Thursday in the early '90s. The energy, the vibe and the filming style just do not seem contemporary. I really enjoy Jane and Lily, and I'll finish watching the series, but I wish it were better. (And Sheen, in particular, is kind of bad.)

Part of the problem with shows created for Netflix and Amazon is that they can't course-correct halfway through a season. If this were on a network and launched with lukewarm-to-negative reviews, I think Kaufman, her staff, and Jane and Lily, who are producers, would have tried to improve it, But that's not possible now,

May 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

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